A very generous donation from Society member Brian Smee has allowed the Museum to add another important Cold War jet to its growing collection. The new acquisition is Hawker Hunter GA.11, XE707, which arrived at Bentwaters on 1st July following a long journey from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. As the aircraft was airworthy prior to it being dismantling, there is virtually no restoration work required…only reassembly. XE707 will eventually be re-painted in an accurate colour scheme based on one which it carried during its service life. This is likely to be a Fleet Air Arm scheme as conversion back to an RAF F.4 variant would involve some substantial modifications. Our thanks go to Chris Dovey and his team at Capel Plant Holdings Ltd. for their skill and expertise in the transportation of XE707 from Ashbourne to Bentwaters.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: Hawker Aircraft Limited
Purpose: Single seat fighter / fighter-bomber / reconnaissance
Crew: One
Wingspan: 33 ft 8 ” /10.26 metres
Length: 45 ft 11 ” /14.00 metres
Height: 13 ft 2 ” /4.01 metres
Weight (Empty): 14,122 lb / 6,405 kg
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft / 13,106 metres
Engines: 1 × Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet
Performance: Mach 0.94 /715 mph at sea level

WEAPONS
4× 30 mm ADEN cannons, 4 underwing hardpoints with a capacity of 7,400 lb / 3,400 kg

HISTORY
Construction no. – HABL/003098
Place of manufacture – built by Hawker Aircraft Limited in Blackpool
Date of Manufacture – September 1955
Type – built as Mk4 variant
Date of delivery to RAF –  1st September 1955

ASSIGNMENTS
1st September 1955 5MU (Maintenance Unit)
93(F) Sqdn at RAF Jever, West Germany
118(F) Sqdn at RAF Jever, West Germany
1960 Stored in the UK
January 1961 moved to Arbroath with the Royal Navy
1962 converted to GA.11 variant by Hawker Aviation in Dunsfold
7th August 1963 738 NAS at Lossiemouth
End of 1963 moved to RNAS Brawdy
December 1964 764 NAS at Lossiemouth
February 1968 moved to Dunsfold for new cockpit equipment testing for the RN GA.11 and PR.11 variants
October 1968 moved to Boscombe Down for a brief period
23rd October 1969 moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent
October 1972 moved to RNAS Yeovilton to join the ADTU (Air Direction Training Unit)
June 1973 placed into long term storage
19th March 1982 assigned to FRADU at RNAS Yeovilton
9th November 1983 moved to RAF St Athan to become the first FRADU Hunter to sport the new all over dark sea grey paint scheme
21st April 1994 final FRADU flight and then placed into storage at RNAS Yeovilton
November 1994 sold by auction at Sothebys to George Lazik and exported to the USA, becoming the first Hunter aircraft to make a transatlantic crossing
1998 sold to Global Aviation Inc
2005 imported back to the UK by Chris Perkins

 

Total flying hours –  6173.5
Date received by the museum – 21st June 2010